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Officer William J. Kelly
Jacksonville Police Department
Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: September 03, 1924
Location of Incident: Cedar Street
Weapon Used: Firearm, rifle
Suspect Info: Unknown, sentenced to death

Officer Kelly was shot and killed while attempting to arrest and take into custody some suspects at a brothel.

At about 3:15 pm Officer Kelly returned to a brothel on Cedar Street to make additional arrests after arresting a male and a female at the location. He had called for transportation from a nearby call box for the two he's arrested.

Upon returning to the house, he told the woman running the house to get ready to go downtown along with some men on the porch he was also arresting. As he stood in the doorway, he was shot by someone he hadn't seen from a back room. As he tried to exit, he was shot twice more. He flagged down a passing car and despite the gun battle, the two men in the car stopped and picked up Officer Kelly and took him to St. Luke's Hospital. Both men were also seriously wounded. Officer Kelly died from his wounds two days later at 10:00 am.

The shooter fled and was captured in New York City on May 7th, 1925. He was returned to Florida, tried, found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced to be executed. No record exists of whether he was executed.

Officer Kelly was survived by his expectant wife, daughter, father, two brothers, and sister.

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